Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Djam Karet, NEARFest, 2001

February 2, 2009—Ever heard of Djam Karet? I hadn’t until I stumbled upon something about them on the net. I believe they formed sometime in the mid-‘80s and as far as I can tell are still together. I grabbed one of their CDs online, Live at NEARFest 2001 (NEARfest), and have been giving it a listen. Djam Karet (pronounced “Jam CaREY”) is an instrumental rock outfit with two guitars (the second doubling on keyboards), bass and drums. I guess you could call what they do progressive, if you need a label for it. The live set has some room for jamming, not an overwhelming abundance. The bulk of the music centers on tunes and their arrangements and if you want to look for a weakness, it’s there. The numbers seem mostly lackluster; there are only a few that stand on their own as entities that you might recognize and pleasantly anticipate as you listen more than a few times. “Feast of Ashes” is one of them; it has a nice sprawling thing going. More pieces like that and I would be more convinced of their importance. Perhaps this isn’t their best CD, but I can’t be sure, since of course I haven’t heard the rest of them.

The band had been together apparently around 15 years by the time they did this concert, and that shows in the tightness of the routines. But the music isn’t especially pyrotechnical, if you look for that. The main guitar soloist is decent by the standards of the style, and the second fellow can turn in some credible licks as well. Neither is a monster. Nonetheless this is not at all bad music. What’s most remarkable is the longevity of the band. May they continue.

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